Creating great public schools for every student requires accomplished education professionals. To attract the best people to help prepare students for the future, we must guarantee them professional pay and retirement security.
Nationwide, most K-12 teachers and ESPs have defined benefit pension plans, which provide modest, guaranteed benefits. We know that guaranteeing a certain level of income in retirement helps retain highly effective professionals in public education and government. Unfortunately, various groups with financial or political interests are working hard to eliminate defined benefit plans and replace them with other types of plans, which do not provide adequate benefits and may ultimately cost more.
In Maryland, retirement security and adequate pensions are a key ingredient in recruiting and retaining the outstanding educators that students deserve. Not only do pensions help provide educators with retirement security, but they are reinvested in local economies across the state, supporting a significant amount of economic activity. According to the National Institute on Retirement Security, in 2009, expenditures stemming from state and local pensions supported more than 32,000 jobs, $4.4 billion in total economic output, and $723.1 million in federal, state, and local tax revenues. Each tax dollar "invested" by Marylanders in state and local pension plans supported $4.71 in total economic activity in Maryland.